Heterozygous beta-thalassemia, the most common of the thalassemia syndromes, is often confused clinically with iron deficiency anema. The practical methods of differentiation between heterozygous beta-thalassemia and iron deficiency anemia are discussed; these include differentiating formulas, serum iron and iron binding capacity determinations, and hemoglobin electrophoresis. The case studies of heterozygous beta-thalassemia which were initially diagnosied as iron deficiency anemia are presented. Theoretical and practical aspects of the management of beta-thalassemia, including the use of alpha-tocopherols, are presented.
Author keywords: thalassemia, anemia, hypochromic
Author affiliation: Senoir Resident, Family Practice, National College of Chiropractic Department of Diagnosis
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